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The Steelers’ off-season, Matt Canada’s Part One Plan:-
For the Steelers, the 2021 off-season will be among the most interesting and significant in recent memory. Their choices will surely influence the team’s near-future because they have a lot of questions about their roster to answer, salary cap issues to handle, and the upcoming draft to take into account. An organization accustomed to glassy, calm waters may experience tidal waves of change in the coming months.In the midst of all these calculations is the offensive coordinator Matt Canada’s system, which he will probably put into place. On the offensive end of the ball, the Steelers must make crucial choices at every position group.
Without taking into account Canada’s offense, none of these questions can be addressed. It’s common knowledge that Canada was considered something of a pioneer when it came to college coordination using pre-snap movement. A portion of that was incorporated into Pittsburgh’s early 2020 season strategy. But eventually, the motions and shifts stopped, probably at Roethlisberger’s request. It appears likely that Canada will make a comeback, with them taking over as coordinator after Randy Fichte was removed.Pre-snap motion is only window dressing, though, a strategy designed to make it more difficult for a defense to respond. When we discuss an offense, we are discussing strategy and philosophy. Pre-snap movement is undoubtedly a part of that for Canada, but it’s not his “offense” any more than Keith Butler’s masked coverage is his “defense.” The philosophy of Canada will be much more expansive and challenging to pin down until it’s actually revealed, considering his past.
Colbert thinks the Steelers lack the necessary tools to carry out Canada’s current vision. This would seem to indicate that the offensive line on the team needs to be reorganized. But one thing that stands out in Canada’s experience as a college coordinator is his ability to modify his scheme to suit his skill.For instance, Canada developed an offensive line around dual-threat quarterback Chandler Harnish at Northern Illinois, who ran for over 1,000 yards and completed passes for over 3,000 yards, to average 34 points per game. It was 22-man power football at Wisconsin. With almost 240 yards of rushing per game, the Badgers qualified for the Rose Bowl. Next was North Carolina State, where Canada implemented an 11-person spread plan based on the passing concerning Jacob Brissett. In 2016, he left for Pitt, where his offensive style showcased his deception and use of motion in an eclectic mix. Ten of Pitt’s thirteen games saw the team score 35 points or more, including 76 points against Syracuse and 43 and 42 point explosions in upset victories over Clemson and Penn State.
Matt Canada’s Play Action passing:-
A mainstay in Canada is the play-action pass. By moving players out of position, play-action is a constraint concept that prevents a defense from attacking an offense’s core plays and creates opportunities for big plays. With ball fakes and throws to the areas defenders have cleared, play-action moves them aside. Unlike drop-back or quick passing concepts, which frequently aim to outnumber a defender in his assigned zone or take advantage of him in a one-on-one matchup, this approach is distinct.This is the Northern Illinois offense’s opening play from scrimmage during their 2011 game at Bowling Green, located in Canada. Canada started the game with four possible ball carriers in the backfield in a Diamond formation. Bowling Green immediately called a bootleg, which led to a first down, as he was thinking run.
It’s a clever idea with a captivating design. What came next is the truly fascinating part. Rewatch the first play. The four defensive backs are positioned equally deep, and as the camera closes in, you can make out all eleven Bowling Green defenders within eight yards of the football. This informed Canada that they were in a cover-4 situation, meaning that the inside receivers’ vertical routes would be handled by the safeties.Canada returned to the run fake immediately after, presumably observing the safeties’ hostile reaction to the first one. Using an H-back to the boundary and a slot to the field, he gave the defense a 2×2 look this time.
I adore Canada’s use of aggression in his opening script. On first down, he went into a run-heavy set, figured Bowling Green would go after it, and immediately went to play-action. Then he set up a shot play as soon as he saw their safeties crammed into the box. It did an excellent job of identifying and taking advantage of a defense’s intention fast.
Concepts of Power Run by Matt Canada:-
Canada has managed to apply conventional power run-blocking techniques wherever he has been. For those who don’t know, Power is a kick-out, block-down scheme that uses a backside lineman to pull around as the lead blocker. On paper, it’s commonly implemented as follows: Canada’s creative streak has enabled him to effectively add kinks to the conventional design. Consider this play from his Wisconsin offense from 2012. Canada moved one of the tight ends from a set of 22 players and brought him back as a second lead blocker. Because of this, Wisconsin was able to account for the safety, who is typically a plus-one defender in the box, and get an extra hat at the point of attack.
It’s simple to argue that Wisconsin should always be able to run power because of their strong linemen and physical backs. Nevertheless, defenses frequently overload the box to halt the run, so that’s not always the case. Canada came up with a clever way to solve the issue by modifying the conventional plan rather than giving up on his main play.Pitt is using power blocking in a red zone shovel-option here. Despite having a completely different appearance, the play follows the same plot. For you to have a better look at it, I’ve slowed down the GIF. The difference is that in Canada, the quarterback reads the edge player instead of blocking him, then decides whether to pitch the ball inside to the tight end or outside to the sprinting back.
Here’s one more. This is NC State’s 2014 offense from Canada. He uses power blocking to run a quarterback draw, bringing the tight end and running back through the hole as lead blockers after he has turned out the edge player.Moreover, Canada will use play-action off of the power scheme to counter an overly aggressive defense. One good tactic to get defenders to think run and adjust is to use the pulling guard.I’m not sure how Canada will manage power in the Steelers situation. He has demonstrated his versatility in doing it. He always seems to tailor it to his players in order to incorporate it into his overall offensive philosophy.
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The Inventiveness and Deceit of Matt Canada:-
I could spend the next month dissecting how Canada employs inventive formations and motions to trick or trap opposing defenses. Here are a few quick examples for the sake of conciseness.Empty is heading to the field with a group of four receivers. The last one might be. However, there is a method to the chaos. Canada is stressing a defense by forcing them to alter their coverage, re-set their fronts, switch strength calls, ensure they’re not being out-leveraged, and, most importantly, maintain discipline once the ball is snapped. This is achieved through a variety of shifts, motions, misdirection, and unusual alignments.
In this sense, Canada is the anti-Randy Fichte. Fichte’s plan was simple to understand. The defense positioned itself in accordance with the offense’s alignment in a few standard groupings and formations. That’s why Roethlisberger liked it: it gave him a clear picture before the snap and guided his decisions regarding what to do with the football. In essence, it was a “me versus you” strategy that depended on the future Hall of Fame quarterback outperforming his rivals.It was a luxury Canada did not enjoy during many of his coaching stints. His talent was consistently below average at Pitt, Indiana, NC State, and even Maryland. Canada’s ingenuity originated from necessity, as he was unable to merely align himself and execute plays against the opposition. He needed to take it slowly.them down, cause them discomfort, and engender uncertainty. That seems like a sensible mindset given that the Steelers are currently in an offensive transition.
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